NPR

Should A State Execute A Killer So Impaired He No Longer Recalls The Crime?

In 1985, Vernon Madison shot and killed a police officer who had been assigned to protect his girlfriend. His severe dementia presents a moral and constitutional dilemma for the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court grappled with a difficult death penalty question Tuesday. Does it violate the Constitution's ban on cruel and unusual punishment to execute a convicted murderer who has such severe dementia that he doesn't remember the crime he committed?

Vernon Madison committed a terrible crime. In 1985, after leaving his girlfriend's house, he returned, and shot and killed a police officer who sat outside in his car to provide protection for the woman.

Twice Madison was sentenced

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